Australia formally bids for World Cups
6 hours ago

SYDNEY (AP) Australia formally submitted its bid Sunday to host the 2018 or the 2022 World Cup.

Football Federation Australia, after announcing its intention to bid last month, confirmed it had lodged its formal bid with FIFA before Monday's deadline.
On the weekend, Indonesia and South Korea submitted their formal bids. The other countries that announced intentions to bid were Japan, England, Russia, Qatar, Mexico and the United States.

The FIFA executive committee will vote on both hosts in December 2010.
South Africa will host next year's World Cup and Brazil will host in 2014.

Five of the bidders have previously staged a World Cup: England in 1966; Mexico in 1970 and 1986; the United States in 1994; and South Korea and Japan as co-hosts in 2002.

Football Federation Australia spokeswoman Bonita Mersiades told The Associated Press on Monday that FFA chairman Frank Lowy had personally delivered the bid to FIFA head Sepp Blatter in Zurich on Sunday.

"We are wanting to make this a truly national bid, one that includes all parts of Australia," Mersiades said.

She said while Australia will not fine-tune its choice of stadium locations until the end of this year, the cities being considered to host matches are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Townsville, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, and the island state of Tasmania.

"We have a demonstrable track record in staging major sporting events," Mersiades said. "A World Cup event here would be trouble-free. And we have a country that people want to come and see."

Australia has twice hosted the rugby World Cup and staged the Olympics in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

In December, the Australian government said it would commit $30 million to landing the World Cup.

The Asian Football Confederation, which Australia joined from Oceania after its second-round exit to eventual champion Italy at the 2006 World Cup, initially said it wanted one strong bid from the region so that it would get full backing from continental members. However, it did not discourage multiple bids and now the Asian vote could be divided between five candidates.

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